How many European golfers have won the Masters Tournament?

The Masters Tournament was inaugurated, as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, in 1934 and, apart from a brief hiatus in 1943, 1944 and 1945, due to World War II, has been played at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia ever since. The Masters Tournament has the distinction of being the only major championship played on the same course each year and participation is, and always has been, by invitation only.

At the time of writing, the Masters Tournament has been played a total of 86 times, so far, and won by eight European golfers, who have 13 titles between them. In its early years, the Masters Tournament was exclusively the premise of American golfers. In fact, between 1934 and 1979, the only non-American to don the iconic ‘Green Jacket’ was South African Gary Player, who did so three times, in 1961, 1974 and 1978.

In 1980, the late Severiano Ballesteros became the first European to win the Masters Tournament, beating Jack Newton and Gibby Gilbert by four strokes, having led by ten heading into the back nine on Sunday. In 1983, Ballesteros won again, again by four strokes, from Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite. In 1985, German, or West German, Bernhard Langer birdied four of the last seven holes to win his first Green Jacket; he, too, would win a second in 1993.

Three years later, in 1988, Scotsman Sandy Lyle became the first British winner of the Masters Tournament, making a birdie from a fairway bunker on the final hole to beat Mark Calcavecchia by a single stroke. Remarkably, the next three winners, Englishman Nick, now Sir Nick, Faldo in 1989 and 1990, and Welshman Ian Woosnam in 1991, were also British. Faldo would chalk up another British win in 1996, as would Danny Willett in 2016, while the octet of European winners is completed by Spaniards José María Olazábal (1994 and 1999) and Sergio Garcia (2017).

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